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Apple CEO Steve Jobs has brazenly rejected calls to open his company's gates to competitors like Flash. And he reportedly has used threats to crush competitors' deals in the digital content industry.
Apple may face its day of reckoning for its bullying on music, Flash, and more

Apple has long played itself up as the cool outsider, making fun of rivals like Microsoft as stodgy, uptight business people.  However, Apple's success has transformed it into exactly the type of company it mocks -- a giant with effective monopolies in several markets.  And according to many observers, the company -- one of the tech industry's largest firms -- has become increasingly brazen in its violation of antitrust laws.

Last week, government investigators began to probe whether Apple broke the law by bullying music companies into dropping a major deal with digital music provider Amazon.com.  Exclusive deals are a common promotional tool and Amazon.com scored a win by convincing major music labels to put certain tracks on sale through Amazon's service one full day before their broad release.

Apple caught wind of the deal and reportedly tried to kill it.  Apple, whose iTunes service controls roughly 69 percent of the digital music market, reportedly told music labels that it would penalize them if they carried through with the plan (penalties included refusing to sell the applicable tracks in iTunes). 

Now, according to 
The New York Post, the DOJ investigators are looking to probe Apple even deeper.  It is asking media companies whether Apple is using its position in the market to bully them on a variety of issues including Flash and digital content sales.  And an angry Hollywood appears more than happy to comply with the investigation.  Remarks one source, "The [Justice Dept.] is doing outreach.  You can't dictate terms to the industry. The Adobe thing is just inviting the wrath of everybody."

The investigation follows the decision of several of Hollywood's biggest players, including NBC and Time Warner, to move towards rejecting Apple's iPad because of its restrictive terms.  They instead will be looking to offer Flash-driven products on platforms like Android or webOS tablets.

Is the government overstepping its bounds in digging up dirt on Apple?  Or did Apple purchase its own ticket to trouble by brazenly stomping on competitors and trying to dictate what "freedoms" its customers are allowed to enjoy?  Regardless of your opinion, the government investigation appears to be expanding as it silently marches ahead.



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RE: Karma
By S3anister on 5/31/2010 5:13:50 PM , Rating: 2
To start, I said Apple is making it hard, not impossible to take bought media from one place to another. Would you really want to burn your gigs of music onto compact discs? I sure don't. As for the non DRM tracks, last time that I used iTunes they cost more than the non-DRM ones, if that isn't the case anymore then that is excellent.

As for movies, I find almost all current mediums are poorly implemented. Netflix, xbox live, and on demand are all great for getting movies but you can't take them anywhere but the home device/service, it's annoying. Now, take bittorrent for example, it has a massive installed user base due to the freedom that comes with being able to take a file that isn't locked down and easily move it from one device to another.

For clarification, when I say bittorrent i do not say piracy, that is something I do not condone. I'm simply saying the media giants and services that are popular need to be reinvented a bit. give some control back to the users that are doing the buying.


RE: Karma
By sprockkets on 5/31/2010 9:28:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
As for the non DRM tracks, last time that I used iTunes they cost more than the non-DRM ones, if that isn't the case anymore then that is excellent.


Nope, all the same price now. I prefer Amazon anyhow as far as getting music now. But you can't beat used CDs, which is what I did when I heard Creed redid a Stones song.


"My sex life is pretty good" -- Steve Jobs' random musings during the 2010 D8 conference














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